tv [untitled] January 23, 2012 8:48pm-9:18pm PST
person that is co-chair, two of us, co-chair, one in southern california and one in northern california. we're going to make sure that diane gets re-elected. but my role tonight is a very simple one. when then mayor newsom called me to tell me what he had in mind for the d.a., i, too, said to him, you're going to appoint a nonlawyer to the job? he said, see, you're not as smart as i thought you were. the guy is a lawyer. i knew that going out. i want you to urge him because he didn't accept when i offered it to him. he wanted to think about it. now, i never appointed anybody who wanted to think about it. do you think mark leno wanted to think about it when i
appointed him. newsom wanted to think about it when i wanted to appoint him? not at all. they thought it was their divine right! [laughter] [applause] >> but not george. he really was very, very thoughtful. he called me and we chatted and i, of course, was really encouraging him because you don't know when you're going to need a d.a. [laughter] >> and in my lifetime, i have always stayed close to every district attorney, every attorney general all over the country. i don't take any chances whatsoever. i remember exactly what jack kennedy said when on "meet the press" and he had named his brother bobby to be his
attorney general, u.s. attorney general. and they were upset with mr. kennedy, then the president, and they said, mr. president, nepities many this and nepities many is that. why did you name your brother the attorney general? . he said very simply, because my mother was not a lawyer. [laughter] >> he appointed the best qualified, most loyal, most direct person and gavin newsom did exactly that. and it's interesting, of course, you see gavin held off a whole week so that he could let kamala go so he would be able to fill her job. if he had taken the oath of office on the same day she had taken the office, somebody else would have been able to name
the district attorney. but gavin newsom is to ever be rewarded for holding back because his holding back for the week in-between his eligibility and when he was sworn in directly produced the opportunity for him to exercise such good judgment and name george gascon the new d.a. of san francisco. so round of applause for gavin newsom and that extraordinary effort. [applause] >> in just a few minutes, the swearing-in ceremony will take place and it is most appropriate that the man who will administer the oath of office will be administering it to george. carlos marino, i had the great
pleasure of participating in his swearing-in ceremony for the supreme court of california. he left a lifetime appointment, dianne, that you had participated in clearing him for in the u.s. senate in 1998. he left a lifetime judgeship appointment to assume the awesome responsibility to be one and a member and an associate justice of our state supreme court. his career is really unusual in that after leaving yale university, graduating and coming home and going to work, his friends and relatives were on his case full-time. his mind was so agile and so able to understand insurance policies and other kinds of complicated things that it prompted him to go back to school. he didn't have a license to practice law. what he was being asked were the kind of things that a
quality lawyer should do, but there is nobody in the community with those skills. went to stanford university, yale and then stanford. stanford, he got the law degree. went out and practiced, was recruited by the major firms in california to work with them after he left the city attorney's office in los angeles. then the governor and a great colleague of mine in the legislature appointed marino to the muni bench in of all places, compton, california, compton, california, at that time was like oakland on steroids. it was a tough operation. he brought some sense of justice under the law in compton, california. he was elevated to the superior court by pete wilson, appointed
first and then elevated to the supreme court by pete wilson. in the superior court capacity, he continued his understanding and his presentation on equal justice under the law, so impressive that a democratic president named bill clinton accepted the recommendations of the senatorial representatives from california and marino became a district judge of the district court in california, approved unanimously by the u.s. senate on an appointment from bill clinton. just think about that, republican, wilson republican, clinton a democrat. it didn't take gray davis long to recognize that he, too, wanted to get in on appointing marino to something. and he appointed marino as an associate justice of our court.
i think maybe the third in the history of the state of california and hispanic in that category. he has since completed his task in that regard, but in the process, he has made friends everywhere, friends under every circumstances. so tonight, admission high school in the mission, part of the city that traditionally carries the hispanic label, he is about to administer the oath of office as a hispanic jurist to a cuban likewise with the hispanic flavor to it, all part of what goes. [laughter] >> i just got back from havana -- [laughter] >> and i must tell you the story i told george this. he is story. i said, george, i went all over
havana. nobody ever heard of you. [laughter] are you sure you are from cuba? he assures me that he is. tonight, it is a corporate for us to celebrate this oath of office from carlos moreno to the district attorney of san francisco for at least four years, my friend, george gascon. [applause] >> thank you, mr. mayor for that wonderful introduction. to me, you will always be mr. mayer. it really demonstrates why you are so successful in the law practice. i would like to have a transcript of that.
my wife will wonder who you were talking about. [laughter] before i administer the oath of office, let me ask george's wife to please come up. [applause] i have the distinct pleasure and honor and to administer the oath of office. you have heard so many wonderful and operational things about george, who i've known for years, his daughters and son. his story is the american dream story. some of the immigrants, just as i am. more importantly, all his life, he has been a devoted public servant, working his way through college, through law school, passing the bar, all while raising a family and rising in
the administrative ranks of the los angeles police department. it is really a testament to your dedication and perseverance. an l.a. homeboy, like me. we are here to support you and to administer the oath of office. let me and the bible to fabi ola, and we would get to the zero of office. please raise your right hand, place your left hand on the bible. i want to tell you a brief story. the reason why we ask persons taking an oath of office to raise their right hand is because, in england, we needed
to know if the person had committed any felonies. in those days, if you had committed a felony, one of your digits had been cut off. i do not know if you can see, but he has all of the digits intact, so far so good. [laughter] george, if you would repeat after me. i, and george gascon, do solemnly swear that i will support and defend the constitution of the united states, and the constitution of the state of california against all enemies, foreign and domestic, and i will bear true faith and allegiance to the constitution of the united states, and to the constitution of the stick california, and i take this obligation freely
without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion, and that i will well and faithfully discharge the duties upon which i am about to enter during such time as i hold the office of district attorney of the city and county of san francisco. congratulations. [applause] >> thank you. [applause] >> it is really a tremendous
before i go on, i also want to say a few words to the people behind me. these people have made the difference for me. i am going to start with mayer brown, who became a friend a long time ago. has always been a supporter, someone that i trust his counsel, and his support has been meeting all -- meaningful to me. kamala harris, a wonderful friend, one that i met telephonically initially as i was considering coming to san francisco. from day one, we hit it off. your support, friendship, and your endorsement meant a great deal to me. gavin newsom, there is not much i can say. i would not be here but for gavin. he offered me the opportunity to come here to be the chief of
police. at the time when we worked together, i could not have asked for a better mayor. you were there to support, you never micromanaged. you provided the tools for me to get the job done. as we were talking about replacing a mutual friend, someone i supported greatly, because i believe she was the most qualified person to be the attorney-general in this state, we started talking, and the offer came up, something quite unexpected. frankly, i have to think about it. it was not something that i was ready for. but i cannot tell you, gavin, how much your support has meant for me, and obviously your endorsement in the election. to my right, senator feinstein was somebody that i respected
for many years. when i was at the lapd, we work with her office regularly, dealing with assault weapons. how do we make our country safer? no one, other than the military, should own an assault rifle. hopefully, we can get back to that one day. i remember working with your staff in those years, learning to respect you a great deal. quite frankly, i was not familiar with your san francisco story, other than that you came from here. coming here and then getting to know what you did for this wonderful city. as i decided to embark on this wonderful journey, your endorsement was so wonderful. i will never forget you for that. i will be there for you, what
ever you need. carlos moreno is someone that i have a very special place in my heart. carlos came from east l.a., at a place that i grew up in, and very familiar with, and a place that will always be close to my heart. not only did noi know about cars as an accomplished attorney, but he was a great friend of al a -- l.a. there was a great deal of segregation in the lapd, but moving forward, he came to us to make sure that we had a different place, an organization that reflected the communities that we served. a place where hispanic
americans, african-americans, women, many others in the organization, would have an opportunity to rise based on their own excellence. it was then that i really got to know carlos and admired what he did. frankly, when this opportunity came, carlos was one of the first people i called. i said, can i have your endorsement? without hesitation, he said, absolutely. i will never forget you for that. when i won the election, and frankly, it was the holidays, moving at 100 miles per hour. people were asking who i would like to swear me in, and without hesitation, carlos' name came up. i was hesitant to ask at first.
i know that carlos is very busy, has other thing that he is doing, but i said i will give it a try. i would be so honored if he did so. without hesitation, he said, i will be there. thank you so much. my wife. i cannot say enough about you. thank you. i want to start this evening by sharing the story of a young man, 13, moved to the united states as an immigrant. his parents worked in a factory. in his house, only spanish was spoken. he struggled to make sense of english, the language spoken in the classroom. school had always been easy for him, but the new language and culture made it exceedingly difficult. he gave a solid effort, but after multiple report cards of
bad grades, he is feeling discouraged. his parents are not educated, they do not understand his homework. but frankly, they are very busy trying to work and make ends meet. it hardly seems right to burden them with this. none of his teachers even knew him. he is one of 1000 kids bumping around the hallways, filling in the seats. no one, seemingly hears. eventually, he stopped going to class and before long, drops out entirely. he feels bad that feels there is nothing he can not do. many of you have heard stories of young people dropping out. not all of you know, this is also my story. i dropped out of high school, convinced that nobody cared or would help. i am sure i was wrong, but i did not know at the time. i did eventually get my life together and finished college,
went to law school, became a police chief, and who would ever believe, a district attorney of this incredible, a wonderful city. [applause] and we were trying to determine where would i want to be sworn in. frankly, city hall becomes the obvious -- a tremendous amount of symbolism, an incredible building, history. as i was talking to christine, my chief of staff, someone that i trust dearly -- [applause] and her understanding of how i feel about why i am doing this, why feel it is important to work with kids, keep them in school, keep them out of the criminal
justice system, mission high school became an obvious choice for those three reasons. i relate to so many young people in the school and schools around our city. i stand before you as confirmation that an amazing life is possible for each and every one of our young people. i want them to know, if i can go from a place of such profound marginal causation, to a place of leadership, absolutely anything is possible. i have never forgot the difficulties i had as an immigrant to this country, and the toils of my parents as they struggle to provide for me, just as i will never forget my experiences as a beat cop working in los angeles, and frankly, working with those that went to compton court. or as chief of police. this life experience informs my vision and daily work as your
district attorney. one of the cabinet that i made to gavin newsom and during our earlier conversations when i was competing for the job of the chief of police here was that i would do everything i could to make sure that san francisco became the safest large city in the country. [applause] my number one commitment to this incredible city was -- by the way, it is my city by choice. i know mario of you are proud for being born here, but i tell people i am an american by choice, and there is something to be said about that. and i am a san franciscan by choice. my wife and i love the city like no other. i have great memories of los angeles, will always be a part of the scene and city, but this is our home, this is where we
are going to be. my number one commitment to make this city safe, that i would venture to work every day to reduce violent clark -- cries by aggressively prosecuting those accused of the most heinous crimes. murder, rape, and others. violence in civilizations are both in conflict. i will not tolerate a justice system that moves too slowly or not at all when someone dangerous is before us. since taking the helm in january, after someone that i have a great deal of respect for, tremendous work for their office, who has struggled for many years, without any technology, and with a tremendous amount of internal problems, i wanted to make sure that i would continue to do the work that kamala harris did, continue to move this office to
the next level. one of my first commitment was to reduce the backlog in homicides. we have done so by 36%, resolving cases that have been languishing for years because of a lack of resources, and finally giving family some closure. i am proud to say that i continued the work that kamala harris did, her homicide team. conviction rate is now at 91%. equally impressive is our results in sex crimes where we have an 89% conviction rate, and our gang unit, where we have a 100% conviction rate. this is important, because often, especially during the campaign, a lot of people use disparaging marks for the performance of the san francisco district attorney's office. in addition to this effort, we are tackling white-collar crime.
we have created a corporate crime division to look into illegal behavior by companies. we have all seen the devastation that corporate crime can have, not just on our economy, but on the lives of hard-working people. we are committed to prosecuting aggressively. we will also be establishing a high tech crime unit to deal with those crimes. finally, we will continue to pursue cases where the public trust is violated by public officials. all these efforts are an important component of our efforts to make san francisco safe. every single day, the dedicated men and women of the district attorney's office are fighting on your behalf. let me ask those of you to stand up and be recognized. thank you so much for your hard work. [applause]
your support from day one is something i will never forget. i know i have mentioned this to you before, but i will say so in a more public setting. i would not be here if but for the great work that you do day in, day out. you provided me the opportunity to tell the story of this san francisco district attorney's office, and i am deeply embedded -- indebted to you. i will work to ride to the leadership necessary so that you can do what you do best. putting people that need to be placed somewhere else, whether under community provision, were incarcerated, in order to keep our communities safe. but i have to tell you, in my opinion, there is much more to being a district attorney than simply being a tough person in
the courtroom. that is why i wholeheartedly support the concept of realignment, and the restructuring of our criminal justice system in california. we must determine which offender needs to be kept away from society, and which is simply being kept away from opportunity. for too long, we have used jails and prisons as a solution to every type of crime and offender. socially, we could never afford this approach, even though we have. now we are seeing it is financially unstable as well. i see realignment as an opportunity to set an example for the state. i will not measure my success by the number of faces behind bars. [applause]
that was my pleasure during the campaign, and will continue to be my pledge. i will measure my success by the safety of each street corner and alley in this wonderful city. [applause] every dollar we spend a locking up someone is a dollar that could have been spent on our schools and recreation centers. these are tough times with limited resources, and i will be thoughtful about how and when we use them. after 30 years in law enforcement, i have seen people who are extremely dangerous, but many more who are misguided. we can no longer afford to lock up those that are in demand -- for safety. it does not work, it doesn't make us safer, and we cannot afford it. instead, we must work to make